11 Jan 2018

Housing market in 2017: Prices up, sales down

7:02 am on 11 January 2018

The average house price rose by 6.6 percent to nearly $670,000 in 2017, but overall prices grew at the slowest rate since 2011, according to the yearly property round-up from QV.

An auction sign outside a house for sale in Auckland.

The average house price in Auckland is still more than $1m. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The number of sales was also down in every month compared to 2016, and lagged 20 percent behind during the nine-month period between February and October.

The biggest increases were in medium-sized cities, with Nelson, Dunedin, Napier and Hastings all recording double-digit increases.

Wellington also saw prices rise by 9.4 percent to $628,450, while the Mackenzie district was the biggest climber in the country - going up by 24 percent.

It is believed Mackenzie benefited from Queenstown Lakes District values creeping over $1.1 million - the most expensive in the country.

In Auckland and Christchurch values stayed constant, with Auckland growing by 0.4 percent and Christchurch prices decreasing by 0.1 percent.

However the average house price in Auckland was still more than seven figures at $1,047,179 - while in Christchurch the average buyer can expect to pay $493,706.

In Hamilton values rose by 1.6 percent to $543,446 and Tauranga saw growth to the tune of 3.2 percent on 2016, with the average house costing $693,725.

QV national spokesperson Andrea Rush put the slowing growth down to uncertainty over the impact of the election, as well as tighter loan-to-value ratio restrictions.

"The frenzy in the market of the previous three years induced by high numbers of investors ... subsided and we saw a return to more normal levels of activity in housing markets around the country."

Ms Rush said prices were likely to keep steady in 2018, but predicted the regions may see significant growth as people migrate to cheaper areas with more houses.

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